The Stinky Cheese Man: And Other Fairly Stupid Tales Hardcover – Oct 1 1992
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If geese had graves, Mother Goose would be rolling in hers. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales retells--and wreaks havoc on--the allegories we all thought we knew by heart. In these irreverent variations on well-known themes, the ugly duckling grows up to be an ugly duck, and the princess who kisses the frog wins only a mouthful of amphibian slime. The Stinky Cheese Man deconstructs not only the tradition of the fairy tale but also the entire notion of a book. Our naughty narrator, Jack, makes a mockery of the title page, the table of contents, and even the endpaper by shuffling, scoffing, and generally paying no mind to structure. Characters slide in and out of tales; Cinderella rebuffs Rumpelstiltskin, and the Giant at the top of the beanstalk snacks on the Little Red Hen. There are no lessons to be learned or morals to take to heart--just good, sarcastic fun that smart-alecks of all ages will love.
From Publishers Weekly
Grade-school irreverence abounds in this compendium of (extremely brief) fractured fairy tales, which might well be subtitled "All Things Gross and Giddy." With a relentless application of the sarcasm that tickled readers of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs , Scieszka and Smith skewer a host of juvenile favorites: Little Red Running Shorts beats the wolf to grandmother's house; the Really Ugly Duckling matures into a Really Ugly Duck; Cinderumpelstiltskin is "a girl who really blew it." Text and art work together for maximum comic impact--varying styles and sizes of type add to the illustrations' chaos, as when Chicken Licken discovers that the Table of Contents, and not the sky, is falling. Smith's art, in fact, expands upon his previous waggery to include increased interplay between characters, and even more of his intricate detail work. The collaborators' hijinks are evident in every aspect of the book, from endpapers to copyright notice. However, the zaniness and deadpan delivery that have distinguished their previous work may strike some as overdone here. This book's tone is often frenzied; its rather specialized humor, delivered with the rapid-fire pacing of a string of one-liners, at times seems almost mean-spirited. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is a madcap collection of dismembered tales and stories. Didn't much care for the ending of the original "Ugly Duckling"? Well here's your chance to see the real (and realistic) finale to the tale. Think "Little Red Riding Hood" could be pepped up a bit by calling it, "Little Red Running Shorts"? Go wild. Scieszka is one of those rare authors that know exactly how to get little kids in stitches without resorting to the usual scatological humor and innuendo. This book is one wild ride. Characters frequently break through the fourth wall to confront the reader directly. There's a mixing and melding to the book, sometimes ending with the untimely demise of boring or annoying characters. I think it is safe to say that prior to reading this story, I had never had the pleasure of watching Foxy Loxy get pummeled by a book's Table of Contents. So thank you, Mr. Scieszka.
But thanking Scieszka without tipping one's hat to Lane Smith is like feeding bananas to buffalos. It just doesn't make sense. Smith is every bit up to the task of matching Scieszka feather to feather and foul to foul on this intrepid fairy tale adventure.Read more ›
ONe of my favorites is the very straightford "Ugly Duckling" retelling, wherein the <spolier alert> ugly duckling just grows up into an ugly duck. And the Jack and Beanstalk retelling is very clever, and requires some thought to get a handle on it.
The beauty of this book is not just the artwork, the writing, and the fontwork, but also that you can give it to a small child, a teenager, or an adult, and be equally appropriate. Very much like Rocky and Bullwinkle or The Simpsons or Shakespeare, that plays so well for all stages of development.
extraordinary, though the rhyme, by Jon Scieszka, based on the classic The House that Jack Built, is fun too. Then I realized that Mr. Scieszka was the author
of both The Stinky Cheese Man, which you often see on recommended book lists, and The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, which several other authors of
childrens' books had chosen as one of their favorites in Salon Magazine several years ago. So now we own all three and read them almost every night.
It's somewhat absurd that we refer to the use of self-reference and the ironic blend of fact and fiction within fiction as post-modern, since such elements were
used in one of the first novels ever written, Don Quijote, and have never gone terribly far out of fashion since. Nor is childrens' literature a stranger to these
techniques, as a generation of parents who were raised on Jay Ward's Fractured Fairy Tales can well attest. But Mr. Scieszka is an adept practitioner of the
style and it does tend to make kids' books easier for adults to read and enjoy.
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs is written from the perspective of Alexander T. Wolf as he explains that the whole story is really just a big
misunderstanding, mostly the result of sensationalistic journalism. Meanwhile, The Stinky Cheese Man is a rather more pungent version of the Gingerbread
Man, who can't even get anyone to run, run, run as fast as they can to catch him because of the awful stench he gives off. The illustrations in these two, by
Lane Smith, are less stunning than those by Mr.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Love the book and my 5yr old couldn't stop laughing at the spin of the class if tails :)Published 12 months ago by agata
We had a hard time getting my son to read... until we got him this book for Christmas!
Finally something he can relate to, laugh at, and re-tell with pride. Read more
A phenomenal book. Sure to be a hit with pretty much any kid...and most adults!Published 13 months ago by Larissa
Funny and smart book for adults and kids.
You must have certain sense of humor to truly enjoy it.
Obviously this book is for kids. Some of my grandkids have difficulty staying interesed in reading a book. They had no trouble with this one.Published 16 months ago by Dave
Very cute retelling of classic fairytales! I'm sure my child will love the humour in this some day.Published 20 months ago by Angela B.
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